UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has sent a letter to newly elected president Nikos Christodoulides, congratulating him on winning the elections and expressing his country’s readiness to assist in efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem.

According to a statement released by Christodoulides’ office on Monday, in his letter Sunak pointed out that “the cooperation between the Republic of Cyprus and the UK is defined by historical ties, the close relations between its two peoples and the common vision for the future.”

“The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed last November between the two countries, ushered in a new era of closer relations between the UK and Cyprus, which you were instrumental in promoting during your tenure as foreign minister,” Sunak told Christodoulides.

The MoU is aimed at strengthening bilateral relations, both on a diplomatic level and on security, the economy and education.

Referring to the historically close relations between the two peoples, Sunak made reference to the 300,000 Cypriots living in the UK, “which have played a vital role for both countries over the years”.

Along with Sunak, Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar also congratulated Christodoulides for winning the elections.

“I am looking forward to extend and improve the already close cooperation between Ireland and Cyprus both bilaterally and within the European Union on important issues and common challenges,” Varadkar’s letter said.

“We are proud of Ireland’s contribution to UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus over the years and I am looking forward to meeting the new president in March at the European Council in Brussels.”